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Mount Kilimanjaro Rongai Route, WW
mini location map2017-07-16
60 by photographer avatarJuanJaimeiii
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Mount Kilimanjaro Rongai Route, WW 
Mount Kilimanjaro Rongai Route, WW
 
Backpack avatar Jul 16 2017
JuanJaimeiii
Backpack40.51 Miles 12,417 AEG
Backpack40.51 Miles6 Days         
12,417 ft AEG
 
1st trip
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Oh there is so much to say about this trip! It could be summed up by simply saying "Mind Blown"!

We went up the northern side on the Rongai route and came down on the southern Marangu route. The hike itself is one that anyone with enough determination could do. It's physically demanding but not difficult when done with guides at their pace. The temperatures ranged from fairly warm during the day to super freezing cold at night. This would be the case pretty much every day of our journey while on Kilimanjaro.

Sam and I booked this trip through Peak Planet which happens to be based here in Scottsdale. The guides were all fantastic and took great care of our group. The whole time we were fed and cared for like Kings and Queens. So much so that on the third day I told them I simply wasn't going to eat lunch. I couldn't take in anymore food.

There were 9 of us in all and 8 completed the journey to the summit. Altitude took the other one out at around 17000 feet. Of the 9 we had 2 from Australia, 1 from Scotland, 1 from London, 1 from Geneva, 2 from Vail Colorado, plus Sam and me.

The folks from Vail were a 22 year old girl named Ellen who had just finished some humanitarian work in Kenya and her 88 year old Grandfather. When she completed her duties in Kenya she called her Grandpa and asked if he would fly over and Summit Kili with her. So naturally he just hopped on a plane and did! He was a total character and was the life of the party. Our overall pace was a bit slower with him in the mix however he really added to the dynamic of the group. To see him summit was awe inspiring! The Guinness Book of World Records has the previous oldest person to summit Kilimanjaro as 85 years old in 2014. A new record has been set and it was fantastic to be a part of it. Even more incredible is that he is NOT a hiker. He skis 100 days a year on average and rides his bike up the mountain in Vail regularly. When asked what he thought afterwards he responded by saying "frankly I find it quite boring". He said walking and looking at the ground the whole time really isn't that exciting.

The views up top of the surrounding area, the crater of the volcano, and the slowly eroding glacier was something that will be etched in my memory forever. The neighboring mountain "Mawenze" often times looked mystical with its jagged top shrouded in the clouds.

The trip down was one of joy knowing that we had completed our mission. It was also great knowing that there would be a shower and a regular bed in the coming days. Sam and I both said over and over what a great group of people we had on this trip and how great the guides were. The trip up and the cultural experience before and after were nothing short of AMAZING!
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